Despite a string of political controversies, including the Liberals’ proposed tax reforms and the Omar Khadr settlement, voter support for Justin Trudeau’s government remains stable, according to an Ipsos poll.
In fact, if an election were held tomorrow the poll suggests 39 per cent of Canadians say they would vote for Trudeau’s Liberals edging out Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives at 32 per cent. Twenty per cent would support the NDP – currently in a leadership race – while five per cent of the vote would go to the Bloc Quebecois, and four per cent to other parties, including the Green Party, the poll found.
The results come as many doctors and small business owners are up in arms about Liberals’ plan to change tax rules for private corporations, but Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, said the Trudeau government has escaped – so far – in terms of support among Canadian voters.
“Very little has changed from where everybody ended the last election,” Bricker told Global News Thursday. “Whether the Liberals have suffered controversy from some of the policy initiatives they have brought in, [support] has changed very little.”
In the 2015 federal election, the Liberals won a majority with 39.5 per cent of the vote, while the Conservatives took 32 per cent of the vote and the NDP finished with roughly 20 per cent of votes.
In their two years in office, the Trudeau government has seen no shortage of political storms, including Trudeau’s vacation to the Aga Khan’s island, outrage over a failed promise on voter reform, criticism over its handling of illegal border crossings, and the uproar over the $10.5-million payment and public apology to Khadr.
The findings from the Ipsos poll also suggests 55 percent of Canadians “approve” of the performance of the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau, down just a single point since the March poll. Trudeau’s approval ratings are highest in Atlantic Canada (63 per cent), British Columbia (59 per cent), Ontario (59 per cent), slightly lower in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (54 per cent) and Quebec (52 per cent), and lowest in Alberta (43 per cent), according to the poll.
“People can have attitudes about the issues but they don’t necessarily translate those about whether or not they are going to vote differently in the next election,” Bricker said.
WATCH: The controversy surrounding the Liberals’ proposed tax reforms
A separate poll released Thursday by the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) found slightly lower numbers for the government of the day and its leader. The poll found 50 per cent approve of the prime minister, although 27 per cent respondents disapproved “strongly” of Trudeau’s performance.
However, the ARI poll also found that 45 per cent of respondents say the Liberals under Justin Trudeau should be replaced by a different government, while 34 per cent said it’s not time for a change, and 22 per cent were unsure.
Both polls are at odds with a Forum research poll released earlier this week, which found of 1,350 decided and leaning voters, 39 per cent would support the Tories and 35 per cent would back the Liberals. The poll also found that 36 per cent said Scheer’s Conservatives would make the best government.
Looking ahead into the fall and the new year, Bricker said trade and how the government handles international issues could still pose a challenge for the Liberals.
“The trade file offers a lot of potential for peril and we just saw that with Bombardier,” he said. “But as it is right now it looks like things are frozen in ice. Whether there is a lot of criticism or praise for the government it’s not moving anything.”
This Ipsos poll was conducted on behalf of Global News between September 25 and 27, 2017, using a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ from the Ipsos online panel who were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ – 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.